Three-year-old pacers of each sex both raced three $35,000 divisions in the John Simpson Sr. stakes series on Sunday afternoon (October 16) at Harrah’s Philadelphia, with the fastest mile of the six the 1:51.3 clocking turned in by 'upstart' filly Lakeisha Hall in defeating the favoured Lispatty.
Lakeisha Hall is a daughter of Third Straight who won her Kentucky Sire Stakes championship at both two and three, but the mile that stamped her as a contender was her last start, when she was third at Lexington behind Pure Country and Call Me Queen Be, timed in 1:48.4.
Yannick Gingras jetted her away from the gate and she turned out to be the only determined leaver against rail-sitting Lispatty, who let her take the lead before the :27.3 quarter before retaking, then putting up sectional times of :55.4 and 1:23. In the stretch, Lakeisha Hall took to the passing lane, and from mid-stretch it was apparent that she had the favourite’s number this day, winning by one and three-quarter lengths while taking a new mark; in fact, Lispatty just saved the place over an oncoming Terror At Night.
Lakeisha Hall is now eight-for-13 this year and 12-for-18 career-wise for trainer Ron Burke, and has amassed a bankroll of $270,485 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Jack Piatt II.
I Said Diamonds opened the day with an easy pacesetting tally by five and three-quarter lengths in 1:52.3, stepping home in :55.4 for driver Jim Pantaleano. The daughter of Well Said upped her earnings to $446,357 for A Piece of the Action LLC, and is now two-for-two under the supervision of trainer Christen Pantaleano.
The other filly cut went to the Western Ideal distaff Newborn Sassy, who, on the move uncovered after an early tuck, had just drawn even with pacesetting Wishy Washy Girl when that one went offstride mid-turn, then had enough to fend off 48-1 shot Time On My Hands by a head in 1:53.2. Tim Tetrick was in the sulky behind the earner of $545,415 for trainer Jo Ann Looney-King, who is also co-owner with CC Racing LLC.
The Bettors Delight gelding Bettor Memories took the fastest of the three colt sections in 1:52.1. David Miller guided the winner outside near the middle of the far turn after a ground-saving journey, and Bettor Memories took it from there, going right up to pacesetting Endeavor and then going by in the last 50 yards to take the decision by a neck for trainer Nifty Norman and owner Gus Dovi, whose sophomore pushed his earnings to $103,975.
JK Heaven Sent, sent off at 17-1 despite the hot Philly pairing of driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen, proved to be a pocket rocket in taking another division in 1:53.3. The Rock N Roll Heaven gelding sat in the two-hole behind a moderate pace set by last year’s two-year-old PA Sire Stakes champion Ideal Jimmy, then had a personal last quarter of :27.3 to rally for the tally by three-quarters of a length. The partnership of Michi Abday and Barbara & Donald Amstine also saw their winner surpass six figures in lifetime earnings – his total now stands at $109,624.
Yannick Gingras and Ron Burke teamed to provide the only distaff upset in the last of the three filly divisions, and they also teamed to post the only winning male favourite in the last of the three colt sections when Fernando Hanover got the job done in 1:52.4. Gingras sent the altered son of Dragon Again from fourth to first past the quarter, and Fernando then stepped home in :55.1 – and needed every bit of it, as a shuffled Fresh Cut made a big rally in the lane, only to come up a neck shy. Fernando Hanover had not won before this event since July 11 – but his steadiness had amassed him $100,245 in that interim, and his lifetime bankroll now stands at $253,996 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino, and JJK Stables LLC.
(With files from PHHA)